Program gives dislocated workers help finding a job

KINGMAN – People who have been laid off from a job can look beyond Job Services in their hunt for work.

The Northern Arizona Re-Employment and Prelayoff Assistance Center (REPAC) is a partner service in the office of the Mohave County Community Development Department at 201 N.

Fourth St.

"We're in a consortium of eight counties," said Keith O'Camb, REPAC training specialist for Kingman and Bullhead City.

"The advantage of that is if one county is hit hard by layoffs, we can transfer money within the system to help dislocated workers."

REPAC receives federal funding through the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to provide services in Mohave, La Paz, Navajo, Pinal, Greenlee, Graham, Apache and Gila counties.

Dislocated workers are considered to be people who have lost their jobs, but were not fired for cause, worked for the employer for at least six months and is receiving or has filed for unemployment benefits.

Anyone meeting the necessary criteria becomes eligible for on-the-job training, classroom training, job search assistance, relocation reimbursement and other services such as skills and interest assessment, basic education (GED) classes, referrals to community-based agencies, resumé preparation, career counseling and planning, and job skills workshops.

"We'll do an evaluation with a dislocated worker to determine if training would help him or her get a job or if the worker should go back into the classroom to improve their skills," O'Camb said.

"In some cases, the worker may be able to go to work without a degree or special skills and an employer will take them on to train while we pay 50 percent of the worker's salary for six months."

Workers entering an approved training program may collect unemployment insurance without having the restriction put on them of having to actively look for work, O'Camb said.

Up to $4,000 is provided for classroom training for the qualified applicant.

REPAC offers gas vouchers to assist the dislocated worker seeking employment at a place 25 or more miles (one-way) from his or her home.

If the worker finds employment, REPAC will supply an extra gas voucher until the worker's first payday, O'Camb said.

"We can also help with moving expenses," he said.

"If someone finds employment at least 50 miles away (one-way), we can help with the cost of moving and first month's rent up to $800."

O'Camb may be reached at 753-0723 ext.

4248 in Kingman or (928) 758-0702 by people in Bullhead City.

Donna Smith is REPAC training specialist in Lake Havasu City.

She may be contacted at (928) 680-0464.